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The Wicked Trustees

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
October 30, 2020 8:00 am

The Wicked Trustees

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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October 30, 2020 8:00 am

When a parable ends with people having the kingdom of God taken away from them, and being crushed by rocks, you probably want to make sure the parable isnt about you. The chief priests and Pharisees who heard this particular story suddenly realized it was about them, and they didnt take it well.

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When a parable in his with the people having the kingdom of God taken away from them then being crushed by rocks, you probably want to make sure the parable isn't about you. The chief priests and Pharisees who heard this particular story suddenly realized it was about them and they didn't take it very well, welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. One of the parables Jesus tells in Matthew 21 is about a man who decides to use some of his land to grow grapes and produce wine plans. The grapevines and constructs a wine press then leases the operation to some tenant farmers while he goes and lives in another place: the harvest time comes and he sends his servants to collect a share of the produce things get ugly. The tenants beat one servant kill another in stone yet another the owner sends more servants of the same thing happens. Finally, the owner sends his own son to sort things out.

But the tenants decide they'll just steal all of his money and murder him as well. At this point, Jesus asked the people listening to the story what they think the owner should do.

And of course they're all outraged about the tenants say the owner should give them their comeuppance and replace the whole lot with good tenants will do the right thing, but when Jesus tells his listeners that they are the bad tenants of Kilby owner servants, and even the owners son. You can imagine how ugly things become. Let's listen together to Dr. Boyce the first of Christ's parables of judgment which we looked at in our last study was meant to shake us out of our lethargy. It was spent to challenge presumption.

Jesus was not suggesting that were saved by works, but he was saying quite emphatically that if the salvation of ours which we profess does not affect the way we live, including and especially including the way we forgive others. Then our profession is mirror presumption because to be regenerated or born again is to have the life of the Lord Jesus Christ within and that life is a forgiving life. A forgiving nature and if we are transformed by him saved by him will inevitably begin to forgive as he forgave that parable of judgment is bad enough but didn't get to the real root of the problem, it began to suggest it, but the real root of the problem is what we come to now in the parable of the wicked trustees as we find it in Matthew 21 beginning in verse 33. Why is it that we don't forgive other people answer is that we really don't like them. We don't want to forgive them because we don't like them and we don't like them just as we do not like God of the truth be told we hate them the way we also hate God. This is what begins to unfold.

Here is Jesus compares this to tenants that were entrusted with the vineyard and were to give an accounting of the vineyard and its produce the owner when he should call for it, and who, when the owner did, for it instead of responding with the fruit of the vineyard actually mistreated and eventually killed those descent instead of being angry immediately as he had every right to be the master's and other servants and they were also mistreated and finally he said well I'll send my son surely they'll reverence and respect him, but instead of respecting the sun.

They treated him precisely as they had treated those who came before they killed the son, and what clear language can our Lord slay that we hate each other. People and we hate him. That is Jesus Christ. And we hate the God who sent him.

I remember an address for John Gerstner gave on one occasion entitled man, the sinner, in which he said, making a comparison between Christ first and great commandment in which our Lord said that the greatest commandment of all was thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all my heart with the soul of the law my mind and the second is thou shalt make love thy neighbor as thyself. Let man the sinner actually reverses that his first and greatest commandment is, thou shalt hate the Lord thy God with all my heart, with all thy soul, with all my mind, and the second, thou shalt hate thy neighbor even as you hate yourself. The Lord is talking about in this particular story that we begins to tell it in terms of this landowner and is vineyard opening part of the story says it was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it, build a watchtower when our Lord said that it was perfectly evident. Everyone who heard it that he was talking about Israel because everyone of these things that is said about the vineyard is said very explicitly in the Old Testament in that very language about Israel. For example, in Isaiah my loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and he cut out a winepress as well. Everyone listening would know that he was referring Israel. We have a temptation at that point, when we read that to say well because on this occasion, he was referring to Israel that's obviously all he's referring to. That is, to Israel and therefore not on us.

That certainly do miss read what Christ is saying we do think that Jesus would say if he was speaking to us what he say well what I had to say doesn't really apply to you.

Nothing of the sort use this imagery because it relates to Israel or some other imagery. We don't know what it was, as he was speaking to us, or even if he had used this image of the vine. Couldn't have said to us. Your choice. Why planted you Americans in America are you Englishmen in England are you Chinese in China and I protected you and I built a watchtower to put a fence around my June water Jew and planted you what is talking about is common grace in the face of the earth is not been the beneficiary of the common grace of God we all have so in Jesus talks about this. He's not singling out the Jews, though in that particular situation. He was talking to the Jews. They were not excluded but he's talking about the human race saying if you want to understand how bad things are.

See yourself in this picture are the ones that I've given all of this to what you do you thank me for do you acknowledge me for it.

Do you respond to it and gracious adoration of him who is the creator and the sustainer of your life. Quite the contrary. You kill the prophets the prophets, you're going to kill me, and certainly are going to kill those who testify about me after I am gone.

She is easy to apply a landowner king is God servants were first set of the prophets of the Old Testament. The preachers today. Missionaries the sun well so that baby Jesus Christ. So in our Lord talks in this way he's getting history sober histories giving prophecy and is giving an implication so far as our relationship to God is concerned in our Lord set on one other occasion.

Which of the prophets of your fathers not killed.

That was a stinging rebuke set it while he was standing in Jerusalem and I don't know where he was in Jerusalem but I supposedly was anywhere near the walls. He could simply appointed out of the Valley of the children where the tombs of the prophets were on display any Joe know the prophets had been poorly received in Israel and what Jesus is saying is look, it's not only the Jews who act in this way, this is the way all men and women act in their hostility toward God and those whom he sends great proof of the courses in their treatment of Jesus Christ.

We talked of Jesus. The meek and lowly talk of Jesus, the loving one.

We talk of Jesus. The man went about doing good and healing the sick, raising the dead, bringing sight to the blind. That's truly did all those things did they revere him for it today. Love them for quite the contrary, they hated him because at the same time he was the representative of God God in human flesh, the holy one, because the heart of men and women is dead set against God. They ended up destroying him to with a not destroying God the father, God was likewise within their sinful grasp. I referred in the past to a magnificent study of Jonathan Edwards in titled men are naturally God's enemies is one of Edward's great classics based upon a text should Romans the fifth chapter verse 10, which Paul writes when you were enemies, Christ died for you. Most of us when we take a text like that while your enemies, Christ died for you talk about the wonder of the death of Christ that probably is proper, but that was not the way Edwards went about things Edwards with his greater intellect went to the heart of the problem when he saw that you couldn't appreciate the death of Christ and the understood first of all, God sent Christ to die when we were enemies. So in this classic treatise, Jonathan Edwards, probably the greatest theologian that America has ever produced began to talk about how we are enemies of God, and he said were enemies in a number of very significant ways. First of all, said Edwards. Men and women give evidence that there God's enemies and their judgments where God is concerned, I have mean opinions about them, but we do in our natural state. What Pharaoh did when Moses came with a message from God, let my people go, and Pharaoh said who is this Jehovah that I should pay attention to him is not what men and women do today you come with the word of God you say this is the teaching of God. God says that this is righteousness and this is sin.

God says turn from sin and go in the way of righteousness in men and women side who is this God is given us this Bible and what is this Bible that I should do that. I want to do my thing. Edwards says it's all right if God never speaks they go their own way. They have a good opinion of themselves and they consider themselves religious men and women. Tell them what they ought to do given the standards of God and immediately the animosity of the human heart breaks forth and resizes a second area in which men and women show that they are enemies of God and this is what he calls their natural relish or the natural relish of their souls. Sort of an old-fashioned word, we don't speak of relish today but is a natural desire of their souls were their instincts why they really liked what they really dislike Edward says if you talk about the attributes of God, you soon find that this is thoroughly displeasing the natural man. Edward says startling and women show that they are enemies of God by the fact that their wills are set in opposition to him. God says this is my well in men and women raise their will up in opposition we do what Satan did. Satan's first sin was asserting his will over against the holy and perfect will of God. Read about it in Isaiah 14 Satan said I will I will I will I will I will five times in three verses Satan says I will.

Natalie looked at that tree said I don't care if God told me not to eat of it bothers me that it's there.

I hated being there and I hate God put it there. It limits me. I want to be limited and so I'm in a eat of it, regardless of the consequences. Satan and Adam both said I will and you and I do exactly the same thing. That's why when the word of God is read or preached the people of our day and every day have such hostility to. They do not like God and they do not want to hear what he wants for us having to talk to people about the gospel when you've tried to make it as winsome as you can. And they say don't talk to me about God or they demonstrate precisely what it is that Edwards's and the Lord Jesus Christ before him, and in a better way is talking about Edwards as something else. He said the men and women show their hatred of God.

The fact that they are God's enemies by the fact that their affections flare out against them whenever they are crossed.

Now when he says affections he means affections in the broadest sense. Generally when we speak of affections, we mean affectionate.

That is the positive side of the affections. What Edwards has is the negative side here.

That's what he's thinking of, says if you let men and women go their own way doing their own thing utterly undisturbed by any moral or spiritual laws why they get along quite well with God, which is to say they really don't have to have anything to do with them at all. God's in his heaven. We are here long as he stays out of our business. Everything is right with the world. That's the way they think. Edward says just simply crossed a little bit just a little frustration come into their life. The great big things just a few little things go wrong, just a few little afflictions supposedly get sick was their business doesn't go too well what I say. All of a sudden, God's back in the picture and that's not affectionate attitude that they have toward God is still flaring out of the hateful sinful passions against him and they say why God is estimating or Edward says if you really want to see how men and women flare out against God. You have to think of hell where their freedom is restricted entirely in their confines by God's good pleasure in there. You see the passionate hatred of men and women against God, which is there all along burning at its brightest. See Jesus is saying all this in the parable, he saying that's the way we are apart from the grace of God that is precisely why we need the grace of God because you see is suicidal to so think. And yet, apart from the grace of God that is the way we do think be all right.

We made the world it would be all right if we made the roles would be all right if we lay down the parameters of our existence, but we don't know that we can't do that is God's world, God lays down the rule. You know I heard somebody speaking about business number of years ago and they were saying you have to conform in some measure to the laws of the marketplace and the way they put it. Was this a set of I want to run a railroad and my competitor owns 90% of the track. I better make my wheels for his track.

That's the way it is spiritually you know if you want to get on in this world and God is the one who runs the world, you better learn to make your wheels well in his tracks as if you don't your due for derailments and disaster spiritually in every other way.

This is what Jesus says and he says it is suicidal for men to act as they do.

And yet this is precisely what they do. So great is their hatred of Almighty God was interesting as he begins to talk along these lines, and he comes to the end of the story that he asked the question what should happen in terms of those were listening Lord himself in a set look because they have killed the servants and they follow that by killing the sun, the owner of that vineyard is going to come and wipe them out and justly so we can put it that way.

Turns to the very people who are knowing this is particularly the scribes and the Pharisees, with whom he was talking and he asked? Here's the situation.

This is the way they have behaved you tell me he says. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes what would like to know with those tenants will render judgment. What's the proper response to that kind of attitude and I was kinds of actions to the man who owns a vineyard you tell me and they say because they do speak rightly. He will bring those wretches to our wretched and he will rinse the vineyard to other tenants who will give them a share of the crop harvest time. In other words, he says, you render justice, and when they do they speak their own doing.

That was the scribes and Pharisees pronouncing judgment on themselves and everything rightly, that is exactly what you and I must do. Speaking that way we pronounce our own doom because Jesus says that is precisely what is coming on those who are strong in their hatred of God expressed his hatred for God the son he says well you know it's nothing new. It's written in the Scriptures, haven't you read it the stone the builders rejected has become the capstone. The Lord is done this. It is marvelous in our eyes. I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you. I was going to the end of his ministry's not mincing words at this time is making it very clear what he means it'll be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

You falls in the stone. We broken the pieces he on whom it falls will be crushed as I've been working on these parables. I been greatly help from time to time by classic study of the parables done some years ago by minister New York City called William Taylor as he gets to the end of this particular study applies it in three ways and it's an important way in which to close. He speaks of our greatest privilege greatest sin in our greatest doom when he says greatest privilege that anyone can have is to have the kingdom of God entrusted to him or her on this is what happens when the gospel is preached the gospel is entrusted to all assets placed within our grasp for our receiving for our feeding upon for our entering into for our growth within. Secondly, says Taylor, the greatest sin. Anyone commit is to rejected which is to say, to reject Jesus Christ then says Taylor.

Thirdly, this passage also speaks of the greatest possible doom, which is to be crushed by the kingdom of that very Christ was offered to us in the salvation of the Christian gospel know Jesus says here that he on whom the stone falls will be crushed. I think he has in mind an image in the Old Testament the book of Daniel is the story of Nebuchadnezzar in his dream. This great statue that filled the earth and is Nebuchadnezzar told his dream to Daniel after Daniel had prayed about it and related it first to him.

Nebuchadnezzar said yes that is indeed what I dreamed and here's the way it went.

That was that great statue.

He describes how it represented all the kingdoms of the R 30 said you know after that statue stood there.

That was a stone the pay rolling down from the mountain and it struck the statue and its feet of toppled over. It fell and was ground to powder reduced to dust that stone stone that came tumbling down from the mountain, grew up and became great and filled all the earth.

That's what Jesus is talking about in my judgment, he saying this, you can be part of that kingdom, and with me grow up and fill the ark because that is the destiny that God my father has determined that my kingdom of truth and justice. The kingdom of the gospel will prevail.

Or you can stand against it is this world does that you can shake your fist in the face of God Almighty hating them with every breath of your being, but is not going to do any good whatsoever because that kingdom will come and those who stand in its way will be ground to pieces as are not my words was of the words of Jesus Christ see the judgment of God is nothing to be taken lightly because God is not to be taken lightly on the God offer salvation.

Now is the God will judge in righteousness hereafter. You will not have them in grace this day of the offer of grace. You will have them as your judge as you stand before his throne. I was a day of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ as he spoke these words was on his way to the cross to die for, such as will have him in saving faith is not come to Christ, that's where the offer of the gospel is made. That's where love is saying there is no greater offer in all the earth, and receive put your faith in Christ. He wants to have you.

We died for you. He lives now to be your savior. Let us pray our father we read these words of judgment, and they shake us as they are intended to do and we tremble at the thoughts standing over against a holy God's wrath burns against us because of his holiness and our sin that we know that we do not have to face you, and your wrath day of grace is present, the way of salvation, of escape is made known. Our father was grace to, and if there any who are hearing these words in a month, dupes trouble their souls shake the foundations they might not rest at any false security or idle presumption, but renouncing that in sin might come to Christ the Savior and so fine wife in him a man and a man you are listening to the Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by. We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place.

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